After serving for more than a decade as an HPTN Executive Committee member and HPTN Community Working Group Co-chair, Melissa Turner departed both positions on November 30.
“Melissa was tremendous in helping the HPTN bridge the divide between science and community,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, HPTN principal investigator and director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “She was tireless in integrating community needs and perspectives in all aspects of clinical trial design from conception, implementation, and results dissemination.”
For more than 20 years, Melissa has been integrally involved in patient care management and HIV clinical trial research in Washington, D.C., as a social worker and community engagement manager. She is a clinical social worker in the Infectious Diseases Section serving veterans living with HIV and a community engagement specialist for domestic and international National Institutes of Health-funded HIV prevention clinical trial networks. Melissa is the Community Advisory Board liaison for the VA Medical Center ID Section and the George Washington University HIV Prevention Research Community Advisory Board.
“Melissa’s impact on the HPTN can be seen in every aspect of our work,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, HPTN principal investigator, director of ICAP, and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University in New York. “She is a tireless advocate for the health and well-being of people around the world. Her legacy will endure as we continue our work to end AIDS as a public health threat.”
A search for her replacement will begin soon.